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Inventor Profile:
John Remmers

Sleep Apnea Device

Dr. John Remmers

Sleep apnea is a common, yet potentially serious condition, where sufferers will temporarily stop breathing while they sleep. These interruptions cause them to wake up, resume breathing and fall back asleep as many as 100 times a night and without remembering any of it in the morning.

As a result, sufferers are sleep deprived and at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart problems, weight gain, impotency and headaches. The most common cause of sleep apnea is the blockage of an airway, but it can also occur when the brain fails to signal the respiratory muscles to breathe.

The Remmers Sleep RecorderDr. John Remmers of the University of Calgary has been researching sleep patterns and disorders for close to 25 years and has patented several inventions that treat sleep apnea. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the standard treatment for the condition, where a mask is placed over the patients nose, forming a tight seal and generating a fixed amount of air pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing. This generally works, but in many cases the amount of air pressure needed varies. Remmers’ modification to the device allows for constant re-evaluation and re-adjustment of the pressure depending on the patients needs. The AutoCPAP system is portable and can be used in the patient’s home.

While treatments for the condition are highly effective, many people do not realize they have sleep apnea; it is estimated that up to 95 percent of the cases in North America are undiagnosed. The Remmers Sleep Recorder is a simple device that can be used in the diagnoses of sleep apnea. It measures and records many indicators of the disorder including: the amount of oxygen in the blood, heart rate, pulse, snoring, body position and respiratory airflow. The recorder is lightweight and intended for unsupervised use in the patient’s home.

Featured Video

Alberta Innovation 2004 – A Safer Night’s Sleep

The Heritage Community Foundation is pleased to present this feature video segment from the Alberta Innovation 2004 documentary courtesy of Alberta Innovation and Science.

Dr. John Remmers' research into sleep apnea has led to many technological innovations that help those with this condition have a better, and safer, night's sleep. See how science and technology have been employed in the study and improvement of human health. Watch it

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